Wouldn’t it be nice to look back at tonight’s running of the 75th Manitoba Derby with the satisfaction of having shared in the mandatory payout of an estimated $2 million pick-5 jackpot?

Maybe I can help create that memory for you to go along with the memory of the big race itself which, for the first time ever, represents the first leg of the Western Canadian Triple Crown. The Manitoba Derby winner will receive a $100,000 bonus by going on to win the Canadian Derby at Century Mile and the B.C. Derby at Hastings Racecourse.

But back to the jackpot pick-5 with a carryover of almost $600K. It carries a minimum 20-cent wager and the ASD program is available free at ASDowns.com in the Player Portal. The pick-5 starts in race 3. Race 1 goes at 7:30 p.m. CT.

Okay, using rules where possible, here are the likely contenders for the pick-5 as I see it:

RACE 3: 7 ½-furlong specialist distance where you look for horses with the highest Equibase speed numbers at the distance. #8 has 84 (3-1), #2 has 81 (7-5) and #4 has 81 (15-1). Also note the 130 pace number for #1 at 7-furlongs (5-1).

RACE 4: The Harvey Warner Mile Stakes which honours the memory of ASD’s late head of the Manitoba Jockey Club features the best horses on the grounds. General rule in stakes races: Look for horses with the most in-the-money finishes. #5 (4-5) has 10 of 16 in the money, #6 (3-1) has 19 of 27 in the money and #7 (12-1) has 27 of 34 in the money. #5, Great Escape, a Robertino Diodoro ship-in seems to dominate in class and appears to be a single in this race.

RACE 5: $7,500 claimer. No specific rule for this claimer. #4 and #5 have highest pace numbers and good speed numbers as well which means they could duke it out right to the wire. If they tire, watch for closers #2, #8 and #9. #6 at 15-1 could be the outlier off the claim and has the biggest last-race pace number in the field.

RACE 6: Allowance optional claimer for $15,000. A quality field which appears to have a false favourite, #3, that likes longer races and not this 6-furlong sprint distance. A case, therefore, can be made for a total of six horses – 1,3,5,6,7,10. A possible scenario is #1, Jeff Fa Fa, who is at the top of his form, going to the lead and #10 Stay Happy (big pace numbers) taking over late.

RACE 7: Manitoba Derby. Four-time Derby-winning trainer Robertino Diodoro has shipped in Heroic Move. The colt almost won the Iowa Derby with a speed figure higher than any horse in the Manitoba Derby field. He will be a key on most tickets. Going deeper, #3 and #5 have been racing in higher-quality fields, too, and maybe front-runner #2 Chicago’s Gray (20-1) can steal the race by setting a slow pace. Should be a good race.

So my suggested economical 20-cent ticket wheel is 1,2,4,8/5/2,4,5,6,8,9/1,3,5,6,7,10/1. That’s 4 x 1 x 6 x 6 x 1 = 144 divided by 5 = $28.80. Another possible wager is a 20-cent superfecta box of the six horses in race 5 at a cost of $72. Or you can take a shot for pocket change with this wheel: 4,5 with 4,5 with 2,6,8,9 with 2,6,8,9.

Good luck. Enjoy the card. And remember there are two other Canadian Thoroughbred tracks racing on the holiday today: Fort Erie at 12:05 p.m. CT and Hastings Racecourse at 4 p.m. CT. Hastings features six stakes races worth $300,000. Eleven sophomores will be contesting the $50,000 Sir Winston Churchill Derby Trial.

“So it is said, so it is done:” 7-furlong rule hits big at Woodbine

How could I resist mentioning this? After last week’s Bettor’s Edge reminded you of the 7-furlong betting rule (look for highest speed number for horses in their 7-furlong or 7 ½ furlong races), race 9 at Woodbine on Thursday, a 7 1/2-furlong race on the turf, came up big. The 20-cent superfecta paid $1,012 just for boxing the five highest 7-furlong Equibase speed numbers in this year’s races at a cost of $24.

Here are the horses you would have boxed: #3 (70 E speed), #4 (69), #9 (68), #10 (65) and #11 (68). The race result was 4-11-10-9. The 20-cent triactor even paid a handsome $201.